Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats

ALEXANDER VON  H1JMBOLBT.                   29
wore founded on others which he had no doubt coin-
inoneed before, ^luring his official and scientific rela-
tion with the mines, namely " on subterranean gases/'
which lie must have finished here in Paris, beside his
other chemical labours, as the work was published at
tho commencement of the following year, when he had
loft thti country.
Bat at the commencement already of his great
journey under Oapt Baudin, he experienced a painful
disappointment. The threatened resumption of a war
•with Italy and Germany destroyed the intended ex-
pedition to the southern hemisphere, as the French
government needed the funds appointed for the pur-
pose. Humboldt's determination to accompany an
expedition of French learned men to Egypt, could
also not be executed, because, after the battle of
Aboukir, which the French lost to the English under
Nelson, the communication with Alexandria ceased.
But Alexander von Mumboldt had made the journey
to another quarter of tho world such a firm purpose
of Ida life, that repeated disappointments could not
disturb him in his preparations for the undertaking;
ho therefore continued to collect the necessary mate-
rial H and knowledge for the journey, although he had
to wait attain for another opportunity. In Bonpland
lie found a congenial spirit, for lie also was determined,
at all hamrdn, to explore unknown regions.
In tho autumn of tho Haiti e year, Humboldt made
tho acquaintance of tho Swedish, consul Scioldebrand,
who paHHcd through, Paris with tho intention of going
to Marseilles, whoro ho was to embark on a Swedish
frigate, which was expected there in October, and go
to Algiers on a special mission. Humboldt thought
ho had at last found a suitable opportunity for com-
luouciug a Bowitific journey through Egypt atxd
Af rioa, ' and Bonpland offered to accompany him.
They proposed subsequently to join the caravan to
JMmuv *wwl to go to East India across the Persian
wrtv. AH the Swedish ambassador promised them
HIM pasnage, they aooofmade a plan for their j